Doomed Ethiopian Airlines plane smoked, rattled before crash

Here's what the eyewitnesses say.


NSFW    ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Witnesses have come out to describe what they saw moments before the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines told CNN that pilots of Flight 302 reported 'flight control problems' to air traffic control. This suggests the plane wasn't responding to inputs, and pilots were losing control of the aircraft.

Witnesses interviewed by Reuters said they had seen smoke billowing out behind the plane, and heard a loud rattling noise, like straining and shaking metal.

The farmer whose field the plane crashed in said it made a sharp turn above a field of panicked cows, while another eyewitness claimed it was trailing clothes and papers as well as smoke.

The aircraft was trying to climb and lift its nose, according to two other witnesses, but failed and crashed nose-first into the ground before then exploding.

According to Reuters, the debris field was roughly the size of two soccer fields.

Reuters reports that investigators have recovered the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, which will be sent overseas for scrutiny. It's unclear at the moment where or when the data will be analyzed.
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